Many journeys, especially those specific to life and career, seem as though they should be a straight shot. More often than not, we find this not to be the case. Sometimes, the twists, turns, and total derailments offer something better; a true purpose.
Sigma member Moishe Ragieme, MSNEd, RN, has been a nurse for the past 24 years, and though he’s always wanted to be involved in the medical field, he initially did not consider nursing. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor ever since I can remember; since about five years old or so,” says Moishe. “There were several life experiences that brought nursing to the forefront for me, though, and I remain passionate about my involvement to this day.”
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Moishe faced many obstacles and trials, all of which he’d eventually overcome. The lessons he learned and experiences he’d faced during these hardships stayed with him and guided his path, both in his career and life.
After the passing of his wife, Moishe had become the primary support and parent for his two children, the eldest of whom had been battling cystic fibrosis from a young age. He also stepped into the role as her primary caregiver, again feeling called to enter the medical field. But this time, he considered nursing. “We’d visit different facilities and my daughter would get great care at some while receiving poor care at others, and I realized I could have done just as good of a job or better. She once told me that I had given her the best care of anyone [who has treated her] and that she would love to see me consider nursing as a profession,” he says. Eventually, Moishe’s eldest daughter contracted pneumonia and succumbed to her disease, but that piece of advice that she gave her father turned out to be something precious and remains as his compass throughout his career.
Moishe enrolled in school to study nursing and earned a critical care internship in a surgical intensive care unit (ICU). After a couple of years, he earned a position in an emergency department and knew he had finally found his path in emergency nursing. Since then, Moishe has expanded his passions to include guiding the next generation of emergency department nurses through nursing education. In addition to working in a local hospital’s emergency department, he is also currently a clinical nurse education faculty member for both St. Anselm College and the Salter School of Nursing, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. He teaches a variety of subjects, including medical Spanish for health professionals, advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), and pediatric advanced life support (PALS), always using his clinical experiences to ensure the message sticks with his students. “[Teaching] is a great choice for me, as I have been able to impart my passion for nursing to the next generation of nursing students. My students consistently tell me that my teaching methods make their understanding clearer, simplified, and more permanent.”
Although his passion for nursing and clinical nursing education is a strong force in his life and keeps him busy, Moishe has also been able to devote some time to another great passion of his: creating fused glass art pieces. He is currently co-owner of Monte Verde Art Glass Studio, LLC, a studio that offers different functional art pieces for the home, in addition to leading classes, bringing the art of fused glass to others while sharing his knowledge of the process and the medium he works in.
“I use my joy of artistry in glass as a way to re-center myself, especially if I’ve had hard experiences in the emergency room,” he says. “What is great about this medium is that you can manipulate it to your own specifications and create a truly unique expression of yourself.”
In looking toward the future, Moishe’s path again remains uncertain, as he’s decided to add a new position in the emergency department to his current rotation of teaching classes and developing the next generation of nurse leaders. He’s approaching the opportunity with some trepidation, but it’s not enough to deter him. “Many nurses experience those same feelings when they go into a new situation,” he says. “You hope to still be able to prove your worth and remember all the lessons from your previous experiences. That’s what my future holds: teach nurses, both young and experienced, to work together as teammates and let their experiences through life act as their guide.”